With a history dating back to 1937, some of the greatest players in NFL history have worn the blue and white, and then the blue and gold of the Los Angeles Rams. Below, we have the full list of Rams retired jersey numbers.
Remember, the Rams started off in Cleveland, moved to LA in 1946, then Anaheim, then out to St. Louis in 1995, before shifting back to Rams House in 2016.
They have retired eight numbers in franchise history, leading me to wonder what jersey the Rams should retire next. Orlando Pace? Aaron Donald? Steven Jackson? It gets hard because do the ‘LA’ Rams honor players that spent most of their years in St. Louis?
But these eight players deserve to be honored. No matter where they played, their stories are a big part of Rams history.
No. 7: Bob Waterfield
He was an LA kid, raised in Burbank who married the supermodel of the time: Jane Russell. He was a quarterback at UCLA and played in the 1943 Rose Bowl.
Bob Waterfield was just a Star, capital S.
In his rookie season with the Cleveland Rams, he led them to the NFL title playing both quarterback and defensive back…and kicker and punter. He signed a then record (are you sitting down?) three-year $60,000 deal.
The Rams moved to LA (hmm, do you think it may have been because they had a guaranteed box office attraction in Waterfield?) and won the NFL title in 1951 with Waterfield sharing time at QB with Norm Van Brocklin.
Waterfield’s jersey was retired in 1952, which was his last year. He did some acting and coached the Rams for two-plus seasons winning just nine games. He was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1965.
No. 28: Marshall Faulk
Just like the author, Faulk is from New Orleans. He played high school for the Carver Rams (maybe it was an omen).
Faulk went to San Diego State, because as the legend goes, they said he could play running back, not defensive back. Good move.
Faulk was drafted by the Colts who traded him to St. Louis in 1999 and his next three seasons were Incredible. In 1999, Faulk had 2,429 yards from scrimmage, still second most in NFL history (Chris Johnson had more in 2009). The Rams won the Super Bowl and got back to the Super Bowl in 2001, but let’s not talk about that.
Faulk made the Pro Bowl seven times and was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2011.
No. 29: Eric Dickerson
Dickerson was the No. 2 pick out of SMU by the Rams in 1983 who were in Anaheim at the time.
Dickerson set the NFL on fire.
In 1984, Dickerson ran for an NFL record 2,105 yards. That record still stands. And in his four-plus years with the Rams he finished with 7,245, which is still second most in franchise history.
Unfortunately, the Rams ownership was cheap and dumb back then. Dickerson was traded to the Colts, had a few more good years, but never got to a Super Bowl.
Dickerson ranks ninth in total rushing yards for a career at 13,259. To me, he’s still underrated. He was put in the Hall of Fame in 1999.
No. 74: Merlin Olsen
Quite simply, perhaps the greatest Ram of them all. Olsen was drafted out of Utah State and played 15 straight years on the defensive line, finishing with 91 sacks (unofficially). He made 14 Pro Bowls in a row.
Olsen made both the NFL All-Decade team for the 1960s and 1970s. His 208 games played is second most in Rams history.
He then went on to great acclaim as a broadcaster at NBC, calling four Super Bowls and nine Rose Bowls. He did TV shows like Father Murphy and Little House on the Praire (they were hit shows). Utah State erected a statue of him outside its football stadium.
On the statue is a plaque with Olsen’s mission statement, an incredibly poignant missive that starts with “The focus of my life begins at home with family, loved ones and friends. I want to use my resources to create a secure environment that fosters love, learning, laughter and mutual success.”
No. 75: Deacon Jones
The man who came up with the term ‘sack’ Jones will always be associated with the play. He was credited with 173.5 sacks in his NFL career, but the NFL didn’t count sacks as an official stat until 1984.
(Like, seriously, where can I sign up to watch football games from before 1984 and chart sacks for everyone? I’m happy to do it.)
Jones played 11 years with the Rams and made the Pro Bowl eight times and was All-Pro five. He went in the Hall of Fame in 1980.
No. 78: Jackie Slater
For 20 years there was one constant in the NFL: Jackie Slater would play offensive line for the Rams.
Slater played 259 games for the franchise, most in Ram history from 1976-1995. I say sometimes that Cooper Kupp is the best third round pick in Rams history, but really it’s Slater. He was the prototype offensive tackle, big, and agile. Slater blocked for 24 different quarterbacks in his career, and remember, someone was clearing those holes for Dickerson. Slater went in the Hall of Fame in 2001.
No. 80: Isaac Bruce
St. Louis loved Isaac Bruce.
A key part of the Rams famed Greatest Show on Turf, Bruce played 14 years with the Rams, and is the all-time leader in receiving yards in Rams history (14,109) and touchdowns (84). He was just 6-foot, 188 pounds, but he was quick and elusive and never seemed to drop a pass.
Bruce went over 1,000 yards eight times and made the Pro Bowl four times. When he retired, his career yards of 15,208 was No. 2 in NFL history (behind Jerry Rice). Bruce, after a pretty long wait, was put in the Hall of Fame in 2020.
No. 85: Jack Youngblood
Youngblood came from Florida with a perfect name and perfect style for hard-nosed football. Youngblood basically took over at defensive end for Deacon Jones and played in 201 straight games for the Rams. He was credited with 18 sacks in 1979 and 15 in 1974 (again, unofficial, and again, I’ll watch all these games if someone lets me).
Youngblood is known for playing in both the NFC Championship game and Super Bowl XIV with a broken left fibula. He wrote an autobiography called “Blood” after retiring in 1985 (if anyone has a copy, I’d love to read it). He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 70s. Youngblood went into the Hall of Fame in 2001.